News / Asia

Cebu Island Struggles to Recover From Typhoon's Direct Hit

Aid Just Reaching Hard-Hit Philippines Islandsi
X
November 15, 2013 5:41 PM
Central Philippines island of Cebu was in direct path of Haiyan and is only now receiving relief supplies. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has more.
VIDEO: Central Philippines island of Cebu, which was directly in Haiyan's path, is only now receiving relief supplies. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has more.
In the Philippines, much of the world's attention has focused on the devastated city Tacloban where authorities have struggled to deliver aid to tens of thousands of homeless residents.

But scores of smaller towns across the country's central islands are only just being reached by aid workers a week after Typhoon Haiyan. Among them: Daanbantayan on Cebu island's northern tip, which was in the storm’s direct path.

At one aid station, fledgling attempts are made to transform frustration and confusion into organization as food, water and other necessities trickle into coastal villages directly hit by winds of more than 300 kilometers per hour.
 
Francisco Oswa, his wife and their five children rode out the storm at his mother’s sturdier house next door.

“The roofs all flew off. Our neighbors’ homes collapsed. Then our house was destroyed," she explained through an interpreter. "We’re poor people, we need help here. We are out of food." 

While Cebu’s physical devastation is enormous, its remarkably low human death toll is being attributed to most people heeding the mandatory evacuation notices. But figuring out where to shelter more than 20,000 households is now the latest challenge for Dann Andrio, operations officer on assignment from the national interior department.

“What we really need is temporary shelters," he said. "A big help would be the used tarpaulins or big mats or any kind of plastic material that can sustain at least a day or so, especially because Philippines is a tropical country. We’re expecting not just summer, but also rainy season, rainy days.”
 
Under a blazing sun, children cluster by the roadside pleading hunger, and a fortunate few receive handouts. But some officials dismiss their pleas as the exploits of perennially impoverished parents seeking to capitalize on the sympathies of foreign aid workers.

But for most families in Cebu, it has long been a hand-to-mouth existence, even when not contending with the destruction wrought by one of the world’s most powerful storms.

  • A girl returns home after getting water, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A volunteer in a passing car hands out water to typhoon victims, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Children wait on roadsides to get handouts from passing motorists, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A damaged church in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Children play on limbs of a fallen tree in front of their destroyed home, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A home that was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A group of people, mostly seniors, waits for relief supplies in the blazing sun, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A family in front of their damaged home, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Limbs from downed trees are piled up in a severely damaged village in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 14, 2013. (Photo: Steve Herman / VOA)
  • A view of the damage in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Kurdish Party Pushes Political Gamble to Run in Turkey Poll

HDP announces it will run as political party instead of fielding independent candidates in June election, but faces tough 10 percent threshold More

Twitter Targets Islamic State

New research shows suspending Twitter accounts of Islamic State, its supporters has been effective; group, its backers are facing 'significant pressure,' says terrorism expert More

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

Majur Juac made the leap from being a refugee in Africa to a master chess champion in US, where he shares his expertise with students More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures. For now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid